The Play Providers Association
06 January 2011

Great Swapathon gives kids an active start to 2011

Change4Life is challenging the nation to make one million healthy swaps as part of its Great Swapathon. Visit the Change4Life website to find the right healthy swap for you or pick up the Change4Life voucher book through News of The World, which contains loads of offers on healthy swaps whilst helping you save £50.


The New Year bringing resolutions of healthy eating and more exercise its important not to forget our children in these lifestyle changes and ensure they too lead a more active 2011. The Play Providers Association (PPA), which represents quality operators of indoor play centres throughout the UK, is delighted to be supporting the Great Swapathon and offering 50% off trips to participating indoor play centres to encourage parents to visit their local play centre after school. Active play at PPA member sites is great fun for all the family with the phrase “Exercise in Disguise” coined to describe the vast health benefits.

We know that January is a time when people are especially willing to make lifestyle changes – making lists of New Year’s resolutions but we also know that many of these good intentions falter, because people set themselves impossible tasks so this year we’re calling on families to pledge to make small, manageable swaps instead.

"The PPA has therefore joined forces with some major partners including ASDA and the News of the World to produce a voucher booklet with £50 worth of offers to give families an extra reason to get active"

The PPA has already been involved in Change4Life activities previous encouraging families to "Eat Well, Move More and Live Longer". In September 2010, members gave away 25,000 free sessions to school pupils, with the Play4Life Schools Challenge taking place nationwide. Whilst playing the youngster were fitted with pedometers which measured the number of steps taken whilst jumping, running and climbing their way around the centres with very impressive results. The winning child recorded over 10,000 steps in an house with scores typically around 6,000 which represents around half a child’s recommended daily steps all in just 1 hour!!! The benefits don’t stop there, with children also learning through play, problem solving, taking risks, developing socially and emotionally and all of this without realizing that they are being active at all.

To make it easier for your family to get started, we’ve put together our top 5 play centre swaps

  1. Swap sitting around indoors for racing around at an indoor play centre: Kids will love it and because they will get all of their recommended 60 active minutes and they’ll probably sleep more soundly afterwards too.
  2. Swap sugary drinks like fizzy drinks or squash for water, milk or unsweetened fruit juice: Keep your kids well hydrated when they play
  3. Swap snacking for a meal: It’s easier to make healthier choices and keep hunger pangs at bay. Your local PPA member will have lots of healthy meals available on their menu.
  4. Swap 4 wheels for 2 feet whenever you can: Maybe you can walk to and from your local PPA member play centre??
  5. Swap watching for interacting: Why not take the opportunity to play with your child at the Playcentre. Most centres will allow parents on the frame itself to supervise your child’s play. We are sure you will find it a great work out too!!

Don’t forget, you can get annual passes from our PPA member centres so you can come back as many times as you want. A trip to a play centres for your children is the equivalent of adults joining a gym … the more you play, the fitter your kids will get and scientists have linked that to increased concentration and learning potential as well as and happiness. For more information visit the Change4Life website and to find your nearest PPA member centre check out our locator

Contact details

For more information please contact:

Kate Costin (PPA Association Manager), Federation House, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire CV8 2RF
Email- [email protected] :: Telephone- 02476 414999 (205)


Notes to editors

The Play Providers Association (PPA) is in support of Change4Life. In order to maintain a healthy weight we need to both eat better and move more. Many families are making changes that will help them live healthier and longer lives. Visit or call 0300 123 4567 for more information

The PPA represents the interests of over 150 high quality indoor play centre operators in the UK. All members conform to the PPA Code of Practice with more information available at alternatively you can follow us on twitter at

Play Providers Association, Rural Innovation Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG
Tel +44 (0)24 7641 4999 :: [email protected]